Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum Executive Director Mac Burdette says he will resign if things don’t improve in three years.
“I don’t want this to be about me because it’s really about the three-year plan and this board, which I think is just a tremendous board, really getting us in a position to making some real money to all things we need to do. But, it’s my personal opinion when a leader submits a plan, in order to show good faith in it, if it’s as important as this one is, I think you have to have some skin in the game,” says Burdette.
The historic landmark in Mt. Pleasant, which houses the USS Yorktown, recently has undergone quite a financial struggle after borrowing more than $9 million to repair just one ship. And, although tourists are still visiting the attraction, the revenue just isn’t coming in like the museum needs it to.
Burdette says his plan would expand programs and events at the point, with more interactive touch screen videos and other improvements.
“It’s designed to maximize the earning potential of our businesses here at Patriots Point. It’s a state agency, but we don’t get one penny from the state. What we spend here we have to earn. We’ve got seven business centers basically. Anything from ticket sales to overnight camping to renting the ships, to being a landlord, etc. And, every one of those business centers have the potential to earn significantly more income each year,” says Burdette.
Burdette is confident the number of visitors and revenue will increase.
“I would not have submitted this plan and put my career at jeopardy if I did not think it wasn’t going to be successful. I don’t mind taking a risk here and there, but I’m not crazy. I think we can do everything that is in that plan. It’s going to take a lot of work, a lot of hard work, a lot of creative effort on a lot of people’s parts. But nothing comes easy in the business world. We’re in the business world,” says Burdette.
The USS Yorktown alone attracts about 260,000 visitors a year to Patriots Point.